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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why I Unfollowed You on Twitter

I have had this ongoing battle with people for the last six months or so since I started using Twitter fairly regularly about how useful I find it. I even wrote about why you should join Twitter, and follow us! Still, a lot of the arguments against Twitter are valid and sometimes I have a hard time backing up my stance. This is especially true when I follow people who do these three things.

  1. Posting consistently about following: I don't know when this trend started. It was probably when Twitter was first introduced, but there have been several people who I've followed and 90% of their posts have just said something incoherent and ended with #followme. Listen, our Twitter feed is a little sad right now and doesn't have many followers. We use it for what it is though, a way to get people to see when we post something new. The same goes with my personal account. If people want to follow me, great, if not, that's fine too. I still don't understand why some people's sole purpose is more followers when they have nothing to offer.
  2. Checking-in on Foursquare: There are several people I have followed that don't use Twitter to send links or even tell me something cool they saw. No, 100% of their posts just say "I checked-in at Lux Cafe" or "I'm now mayor at Spongebob World!" I simply don't care. There's a reason I haven't checked my Foursquare in a year. If I really care, I will be friends with you on Foursquare.
  3. Retweeting with no commentary: Chances are, if I'm on Twitter, that I follow the same general news sites that you do. So, when you retweet a link without any opinion it's pointless to me. Once or twice is okay but people who solely do this are worthless on Twitter. Don't make me read the same tweet again.
  4. Tweeting every minute: I unfollowed two athletes recently because all they did was tweet seemingly every single minute. I couldn't take it anymore because they didn't offer anything that I cared about.
What should you do? As I've said before, post interesting stories, opinions on current events, or thoughts on a sporting event. Those things are interesting to me. I don't need to see you beg for followers or tell me where you are. If you are at a cool, unique event or place that's fine.  I don't care where you went for lunch. Again, that's what Foursquare is for. This is probably a crabby post but there are some ground rules on Twitter and they need to be followed. (Pun intended) What is a reason you would unfollow someone?


Anonymous said...

I try not to follow and/or will ultimately unfollow those that are constantly promoting products. Boring...

Scott said...

Yes, I don't mind promoting an interesting product but when that's all they do it gets old. You can tell when someone is genuine and just trying to sell something or their own feed.

pjakma said...

If someone retweets a lot you can just uncheck the "retweets from this user will appear in your timeline" box, by their name (e.g. on their profile). You can still see the retweets in the "retweets from others" tab, which I think twitters sorts according to both recency and # of Rts.

If you use twitter this way then retweets become like votes-up of good tweets, your "retweets from others" tab becomes "best of twitter" - a very useful filter. For this to work at its best, twitter users should be quite *active* at retweeting.

YMMV I guess.

Anonymous said...

Ironic that you mention ppl RTing frequently or without including remarks. Ever since I found you from someone's RT, I was so grateful for the info that I've been RTing many of your tweets. I for one appreciate informative RTs w/o remarks attached. I just want to read the original info. I think simply clicking Retweet is so much faster than having to copy/paste, adding a comment, just so it appears as a tweet from you and not the original tweeter. I like to give full credit for originality. But that's JMO :)

Scott said...

Hi pjakma,

That is great advice. As i said in the post I'm still somewhat new so ideas like that will really help me utilize it in better ways.

Scott said...

Interesting anonymous. I guess everyone's different. :) I tend to like the comments because I follow the people in my feed to listen to them so I trust they have some opinion on the piece they are RTing.

Having said that, my stance for a while has been that Twitter is such a great aggregator of interesting stories or news items I would never find anyway. A lot of that is from RTs.

I guess my point here is for those that are excessive in that they pretty much copy other feeds with RTing others without any new value added. Thanks for the comment!